Saving money on Groceries is a hotly debated topic.Â You wouldn’t think so, but there are those who say you save the most by only shopping at warehouse stores, or only using coupons, or refusing to use coupons, or by growing a garden and owning animals, or only buying generic brands, or not eating meat, or fasting 2 days a week, or well…you get the idea.
All these ways can be valid ways to save money on groceries(except the fasting one – don’t try that)!
With 6 kiddos and a husband who enjoys eating, buying groceries is a non-optional expense.
How do I save money on groceries?Â The obvious answer from reading this blog is – by using coupons.Â Using coupons is a huge part in saving money on groceries, but it’s not the only thing that will help you save money on groceries.
Here are several strategies that, when combined will help you save over 50% or More on your grocery bill.
Meal Planning, In my opinion is one of the biggest ways you can save money on your groceries.Â If you know what you’re having in advance there’s not that dread feeling when it gets close to dinner time about what you’ll be feeding your family.Â You will save money, and you won’t have to eat out or run to the store at the last minute.
One easy way to plan your menu is to have a themed night each week.Â Â For exampleÂ –Â Monday Night is Soup/Sandwich Night, Tuesday Night Casserole Night, Wednesday Night International Night(Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc), Thursday Night Stir Fry, Friday Night Pizza Night, Saturday Night Grill Night, Sunday Dinner Roast
The dishes you can fit within these themes are unlimited!
Build a Grocery Stockpile
If you have a well-stocked pantry you are well on your way to being able to save money on groceries.Â You can pull items from your pantry for meals and won’t have to worry about picking things up at the last minute.Â This is where the coupons come in to play(we’ll talk more about that later).Â Â Â Find out more about Building a Grocery Stockpile.
Buy Fruits and Vegetables When they are Marked Down
Eating Fruits & veggies is a necessity for good health, but I’ve found that buying enough to feed my family of 8 can get a bit pricey.Â Â There are a couple of ways to help cut costs in that area.
- During the warmer months find a local farmer’s market to purchase fresh fruits & veggies each week.Â Buy in bulk when you can and preserve some for the cooler times of year when the harvest isn’t as bountiful.
- Pick Your Own!Â If you’re ambitious & have time you can find local farms that will allow you to come pick your own fruits & veggies at a fraction of the cost.Â Use Pickyourown.org to find a farm nearby.
- Check your grocery store for markdowns in the produce section.Â My Piggly Wiggly has a buggy sitting in the produce section with produce that they have marked down for quick sale.Â You can get great deals that way.
- Also, check your store ad to see what’s on sale that week.Â When something is at rock bottom – Stock up.Â I always list the best produce deals on my Grocery Store Shopping Lists each week.
- Don’t be afraid to store for the winter.Â It’s impossible to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies and use them within a timely manner unless you preserve them.Â There are several easy ways to save them using your freezer and/or canning them.Â Pick your Own.org has a great guide for learning how to preserve different types of produce.Â I also recommend the Ball book of Home Preserving as a GREAT resource on this topic.
Buy Meat When the Price is Low
My family of 8 are big meat eaters!Â Bryan and the older boys would be fine with a meal of meat only every night!Â With that said cutting out meat or having a meatless night isn’t an option here so I have to cut back on meat costs whenever I can.Â I only buy meat when it’s on sale at rock bottom and stock up.Â I always Look at the ad to see what’s on sale at around $2.00-$3/lb sometimes it’s ground beef, chicken, roast, whatever it is. Buy 1 to cook that week and another for the freezer. You can usually plan your meals around that & stock your freezer at the same time.
Know your Buy Price
It is helpful to know when to stock up on an item!Â Your Buy Price is the highest price you’re willing to pay for an item.Â When at item is at your Buy price then you Buy the item!
I have a FREE printable Grocery Price Chart here.
The best way to keep track of that is to keep a price book or a price list.Â I look at so many ads each week that I have many of these in my head.Â If you use my Grocery Shopping Lists you can be sure that I only list things that are a truly good deal that week.Â You can also keep a notebook or a spreadsheet of these items with your Buy Price listed.
Â Use Coupons Wisely
Well, you all know that I couldn’t write an article about saving money on groceries without mentioning coupons.Â Coupon usage is a GREAT way to kick those grocery savings up a notch(or a few million notches).Â Yes, using coupons can help you save lots of money on your groceries.Â There’s no doubt about it.Â Using coupons is a big part of saving money on groceries.
The Key here is using them WISELY!Â Going through the coupons each Sunday and clipping the ones you find interesting is all well and good, but that’s not the way to maximize your savings with coupons.Â You also don’t have to become a crazy extreme couponer who lives for the deals.Â If you want to coupon for sport then you might want to read 10 Ways to Practice Extreme Couponing.
However, to make the most of your coupon savings you’ll need to combine the coupons with current sales.Â Â Â I don’t clip my coupons until I need them.Â I keep them filed in a file box organized by date.Â Then clip them as they are needed.
- Match the coupons to the store’s sales and NOT the coupons to your list!Â Make sense?
- Plan your meals by the store’s sales and coupon matches and you will SAVE BIG!
- Use couponing to stock up on non-grocery items like health & beauty items, toiletries, etc.
No, you dont’ have to run from store to store every week grabbing all the hot deals.Â While you’re certainly more than welcome to it’s not something I have time to do.Â I say pick a Grocery store & a drug store each week and grab the best deals and stockpile items there.Â You can stock up very well by just using that method and not drive yourself batty at the same time.
I make it easy for you here by listing all the best deals with coupon matchups here on iGoBOGO.Â Just pick the store you want at the top & make your list & print or email it.